The sports world is still recovering from the tragic death of legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant. As a result, the NBA postponed Tuesday’s game between the Lakers and Clippers, as many players are in no condition to play as they grieve the loss of their friend and idol. The game is expected to be made up at a later date. The NBA also moved the start time of Tuesday’s game between the Celtics and Heat from an original start time of 7:30 p.m. ET to a new start time of 8:00 p.m. ET.
Monday featured the outpouring of many current and former NBA players telling their fondest memories of Bryant. Warriors PG/SF Draymond Green said that Kobe gave him an inspirational pep talk during the lowest moment of his career, which was after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. Green said that he reached out to Bryant because he felt like his career was caving in on him in part due to sharp criticism from the media and league. Bryant told him, “99% of the world is OK with mediocrity or worse. You’re chasing something so much bigger. How do you expect anyone to understand you?” Green said that was all he needed to hear to get his mind right.
Former 76ers star Allen Iverson told a story about how he and Bryant went out to dinner one night during their rookie season while the 76ers were playing in Los Angeles. Iverson said that after dinner, he told Bryant he was going to go out to the nightclub, but Kobe said that he would be going to the gym instead. Iverson’s story sheds light upon Bryant’s unparalleled work ethic and burning desire to be better than everyone else.Mike Tirico told an incredible story to The Ringer about how Gordon Hayward intentionally committed a lane violation while Kobe was attempting a free throw to hit 60 points in his final NBA game, which would have given Bryant an extra crack at 60 points in case he missed the free throw attempt. It was this type of reverence that the rest of the NBA had for Bryant that made him such a cultural icon.
8 seconds from us. 24 seconds from @sacramentokings. All for Mamba. pic.twitter.com/Yb1H70vQey — Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) January 28, 2020
A devastated LeBron James also commented publicly for the first time since Bryant’s death, vowing to continue Bryant’s legacy of growing the sport.
FANTASY RECAPWhile fantasy news took a strong backseat on Monday, the slate did go on. There was a six-game NBA slate on DraftKings, which was filled with tons of potential value plays due to injuries and absences to players such as Chris Paul, who was excused due to personal reasons. The NHL also had a six-game slate after returning from the All-Star break. Eric Gordon ended up leading the slate with 70 DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP) after taking advantage of an expanded role due to a thin Houston squad. Here’s how DK Live recapped some of Monday’s most noteworthy fantasy NBA performances:
Eric Gordon drops 50 points in win at Jazz — Gordon ($6,900; 70 DKFP) made the most of his increased role Monday, scoring 50 points in 38 minutes with James Harden (thigh) and Russell Westbrook (rest) out. Gordon also added six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. It was the highest scoring game of his career, and just his second game ever with more than 36 points. Gordon wasn’t the only one to take advantage of increased opportunity, as Danuel House ($3,900; 47.75 DKFP) scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 46 minutes and Austin Rivers ($3,600; 33.5 DKFP) scored 21 points in 41 minutes. The Rockets’ hodge-podge roster managed to take down the full-strength Jazz in Utah, 126-117, despite 36 points from Donovan Mitchell ($7,900; 51.75 DKFP). — Alex Rikleen
Andrew Wiggins sets a career-high for made threes in loss vs. Kings — In a game that saw Minnesota and Sacramento tie an NBA record with a combined 41 made 3-pointers, it was an attempt that came up short from distance that was the difference. Wiggins ($7,100; 63.25 DKFP) couldn’t connect on his eighth long ball of the evening with just over five seconds left in OT, giving the Kings a 133-129 victory. Honestly, that Sacramento even had a chance to win this one was insane, as the Timberwolves squandered a 15-point lead with two minutes remaining in regulation. Still, Wiggins wasn’t really to blame for the loss. The former first-round pick finished with 36 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. For Sacramento, Buddy Hield ($6,600; 56.25 DKFP) collected 42 points of his own. — Garion Thorne
Andre Drummond disappoints in good matchup vs. Cavs — Drummond ($9,600; 39.00 DKFP) entered Monday in an appealing matchup against the Cavs, who had been foul defensively, especially near the basket. Cleveland came into the night allowing the second most points per possession and the most field goals per game within five feet of the basket, the zone that Drummond attempted most of his shots in. To further the appeal of the matchup, Drummond clobbered the Cavs in three matchups prior to tonight, averaging 61 DKFP. Despite all that, Drummond was a fantasy bust on Monday, scoring 15 points with just eight rebounds in 32 minutes as the Cavs blew out the Pistons by 15 points. Tristan Thompson ($5,700; 33.75 DKFP) had a 17-point, 11 rebound double-double to provide good fantasy value for Cleveland. — Timothy Finnegan
Luka Doncic fails to bring back 5x value in win at Thunder — In the wide spectrum of Doncic ($11,900; 54.25 DKFP) performances, I think it’s safe to say Monday night’s was a solid C+. Easily the most expensive player on this evening’s six-game featured slate, Doncic did more than enough to lead Dallas to a 107-97 win over Oklahoma City, yet the DFS returns were a little underwhelming. The sophomore actually failed to exceed 55.0 DKFP for the seventh time in his past 10 starts, finishing the contest with 29 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Really, he was mostly let down by his shooting, as the All-Star shot just 10-of-24 from the field. Still, despite the recent uneven play, Doncic will be one of two players priced above $12K on Tuesday against Phoenix. — Garion Thorne
Bam Adebayo goes off for triple-double in win vs. Magic — With Kendrick Nunn (Achilles) sitting on the sideline for Monday’s contest between Miami and Orlando, it was Adebayo ($8,700; 53.5 DKFP) who stepped into the role of facilitator for the Heat’s offensive attack. It’s a role the soon-to-be All-Star is apparently quite suited for. Adebayo would register his third-career triple-double in Miami’s 113-92 win, collecting 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. It was also just the big man’s second performance of over 50.0 DKFP dating back to Dec. 28. Adebayo is one of just six qualified players in 2019-20 that’s maintaining an assist rate of over 20% with a total rebounding rate above 15%. In short, he’s very, very good. — Garion Thorne
And here’s how DK Live recapped some of Monday’s most noteworthy fantasy NHL performances:
Jamie Benn comes up clutch in win vs. Lightning — It’s been an underwhelming season for Benn ($5,200; 28.8 DKFP). Coming into Monday’s tilt with Tampa Bay, the former All-Star had managed just 12 goals in his first 48 games of 2019-20, well off his pace from the past half-decade. However, for a night, Benn sort of resembled his past self. The 30-year-old beat Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,100; 14.0 DKFP) twice – including for the game-winner in OT – as Dallas snapped a two-contest losing streak with a 3-2 victory. It was Benn’s second multi-goal performance of the year and his second-best DKFP output. For the Lightning, Steven Stamkos ($7,100; 30.3 DKFP) also scored two times. — Garion Thorne
Damon Severson’s defense key in Devils win — Severson ($3,600; 30 DKFP) scored in the Devils’ 4-3 shootout win over the Senators Monday, but it was his defense that really made the difference. He recorded five blocks and two hits in addition to his six shots on goal. It’s the most blocks he’s recorded in a game this season, and the goal was just his sixth of the year. Jack Hughes ($3,900; 23.4 DKFP) also had a productive fantasy night, taking eight shots on goal. Despite the loss, Senators’ goalie Marcus Hogberg ($8,000; 30.5 DKFP) had a fantastic night for DFS managers, recording 50 saves, easily the most he’s stopped in his short career. — Alex Rikleen
Tom Wilson’s two points lead to win Monday — Wilson ($5,000; 24 DKFP) scored and assisted during the Capitals’ 4-2 win over the Canadiens. He also logged five shots on goal and two hits. It was his seventh multi-point game this season, and his third with at least one goal and one assist. Wilson has been on a roll lately, putting up at least one point in six of his last seven. Jakub Vrana ($5,700; 19.3 DKFP) also had a goal and an assist. Despite allowing three goals, Canadiens G Carey Price ($7,100; 18.4 DKFP) also had a productive fantasy outing. notching 37 saves. — Alex Rikleen
Roope Hintz (upper body) will not return Monday vs. Lightning — It was an incredibly short evening for Hintz ($4,000; 0.0 DKFP). After suffering an upper-body injury during his first shift of this evening’s contest against Tampa Bay, the sophomore has been ruled out for the rest of the night. Hintz has been one of Dallas’ top offensive weapons so far in 2019-20, registering a team-high 15 goals in the 41 games he’s appeared in this season. Radek Faksa ($3,000) could see few extra shifts in the immediate future if Hintz is sidelined for a significant period of time. — Garion Thorne
A LOOK AHEADThere were originally nine games scheduled for Tuesday’s NBA slate on DraftKings, but the postponement of the Lakers-Clippers game has cut the slate down to eight games. The slate is headlined by a $15 entry tournament that pays out $100k to the winner. Set your lineups here: NBA $400K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st].
Here’s an early look from DK Live at some notable injuries ahead of Tuesday’s slate.
Joel Embiid (hand) is questionable for Tuesday vs. the Warriors — Embiid has missed the past nine games for the 76ers with a torn ligament in his left hand. He could return as early as tomorrow’s game against the Warriors, though, depending on how his evaluation with a hand surgeon goes on Monday. The next two games the Sixers have are against the Warriors and Hawks, which could be easy opponents for him to ramp up against before they face Saturday’s big game against the Celtics. When Embiid returns, Shake Milton or Matisse Thybulle will likely return to the bench while Al Horford returns to PF and Mike Scott has a more reduced role. — Zach Thompson
In addition to Embiid, Jayson Tatum (groin) is doubtful, while Ricky Rubio (ankle) is questionable. More injury additions and updates are likely on the way as Tuesday progresses, so download the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive to stay up-to-the-minute.
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